•Task Nsima Ekere, MD, Samuel Frank, Board member on regional devt
By Chioma Onuegbu
UYO—TRADITIONAL rulers of Ibibio, Oro, Annang and Ekid ethnic groups of Akwa Ibom State have hailed the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an indigene of the state as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
In a goodwill message, weekend, signed by the paramount ruler of Etinan local government area, Edidem Dickson Umoette, and Uyio Ikpaisong Ibibio, the Supreme Council of Ibibio traditional rulers, they expressed “deepest appreciation” to the President for the choice of Ekere.
According to them, the appointment will enable Akwa Ibom state complete its four-year tenure as MD of the commission and also encourage continued environmental transformation and human capacity development in the Niger Delta region.
The Ibibio royal fathers urged Akwa Ibom citizens to support the President Buhari-led government to deliver the much-needed democracy dividends to Nigerians, while praying for the success of Ekere as he takes on his new task. They equally thanked the President for the appointment of Mr. Samuel Frank as the Commissioner representing Akwa Ibom on the NDDC Board.
Similarly, the apex traditional institution in Oro, Council of Oro Traditional Rulers (COTR) described both Ekere and Frank’s appointments into the NDDC as well deserved.
The Oro traditional leaders in a statement by the chair and secretary, Ovong Edet Isemin, and Offong Etim Oquong respectively, expressed strong support for the appointment of Ekere because of his record of accomplishment of positive achievements and successes in his previous endeavors.
According to them, Ekere exhibited a high sense of responsibility and a friendly disposition as the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, which brought him closer to the people and won him many admirers in many parts of the state. “We are optimistic that Mr. Ekere’s tenure as the NDDC Managing Director will witness tremendous environmental development of the Niger Delta states,“ they added.
They particularly urged Nsima Ekere to ensure that the NDDC under his watch makes its presence felt in Oro nation to engender a sense of belonging in all sections of the Niger Delta region.
On their part, Afe Annang, the supreme socio-cultural organization of the Annang people, said, “Mr. Ekere’s appointment was “heart-warming and reassuring to all right-thinking Nigerians, coming at a time when Nigeria needed people of proven ability and integrity in positions of authority in the country.”
Speaking on behalf of the group, Itai Afe Annang IV, Okuku Pius Effiong, Eside III, who doubles as the Clan Head of Ikpe in Essien Udim local government area, said they have no doubt that Ekere would discharge the functions of his new office effectively and satisfactorily.
They asserted, “we thank President Buhari for this careful choice and for giving due consideration to the people of Akwa Ibom state, in particular, and the South-South zone in general.”
In addition, Obong Etim Daniel Abia, the paramount ruler of Eket local government area, tasked Ekere to redress the serious imbalance in project execution in various states of Niger Delta in accordance with the quantum of oil and gas production, which is a requirement of the NDDC Act.
The monarch advised that Ekere should, at the earliest opportunity, undertake a tour of the Niger Delta region and hold a town hall meeting in each Federal constituency to understand the needs of the people and where their interests can best be served with his intervention.